Jones provides impressive evidence of captaincy material
White Hill Field (Willow Cuts won toss): Willow Cuts beat Bailey's Bay by 90 runs
Already, the captaincy at Willow Cuts seems to be suiting Malachi Jones.
The new Cuts leader marked his first two games in the post with knocks of 105 and 98 on the weekend to lead his team into the semi-finals of the Belco Cup next weekend.
Yesterday Jones again led the Cuts batting yesterday with 98 off 11 fours and three sixes before he was trapped leg-before by Burton Outerbridge.
Then he capped a fine all-round performance by claiming three for 31 off his ten overs as Bay slumped from 104 for four to 154 all out. Winning was more important than individual glory, Jones emphasised.
“I was dropped earlier on 30-something but to me it was about the team today, getting as many runs as possible with wickets falling all around me,” he said.
“I'm going to be batting at five pretty much every game. I have told myself if Cuts are to win anything this year I have to play a big role in leadership and hopefully the guys will rally around me and everybody else who has key roles and hopefully we can be victorious in some trophy this season.”
Two fourth-wicket stands were crucial in this match, first as Jones and Deunte Darrell, who made 37, posted 105 to rescue Cuts from early trouble at 13 for three after seam bowler Kyle Hodsoll struck three early blows by removing Chris Douglas for a duck in the first over, and then Shaquille Jones for seven and Chris Foggo for one.
Bay, too, had a fourth-wicket stand involving their captain that threatened to change the match for them, when Stephen Outerbrige and Rodney Trott added 62 after Cuts had them 42 for three after 11 overs.
The stand was broken when Trott was bowled by spinner Kavon Fubler for 26, which came off 52 balls.
Cuts took two more quick wickets after that to tilt the balance, including captain Outerbridge for a top knock of 47 from 76 balls. He hit four fours and a six and the catch on the midwicket boundary provided relief to Deunte Darrell, who put down a hot, but straightforward waist-high chance at cover when the score was 67 for three.
Bay managed just 34 runs for their last four wickets as the Cuts spinners slowed up the scoring and then took crucial wickets.
Jones claimed two wickets in his second spell to finish with three for 16 off 6.3 overs, while Douglas had three for 31 from ten overs of off spin, Kamal Bashir two for 25 and Kavon Fubler two for 51.
Kyle Hodsoll, with 21, and Ryan Steede, unbeaten on 15 not out, offered resistance late in the innings, but overs were running out as they found themselves needing 101 off 79 balls when Lateef Trott was eighth out.
“The wicket was taking some spin so the slower bowlers were the key today,” Jones said. “Chris hasn't bowled a lot in the last couple of seasons, so we will try to use him more now that Kevin Fubler and [David] ‘Chick' Adams are gone. We need an off-break bowler.”
Earlier, Sheroy Fubler scored 23 in the middle order for Willow Cuts as he shared a stand of 67 for the sixth wicket with his captain. Hodsoll took four for 22 off 9.2 overs to lead the Bay bowling.